Ann Holcomb

Seven Stages Collective Theatre

Family history and its mirror in snapshot photography are always characterized by what is left out: the happy memories in the photo album depend on the forgetting of mental illness, repressive sex roles, or, particularly in the South, race relations. Ann Holcomb’s recent mixed-media photographs are concerned with the return of the repressed, the reconsideration of the whole context of family history. She has rephotographed family pictures, adding words, objects, and oblique title-sentences. The result is an allusive narrative of illness, discrimination, and folklore.

The photographs that were shown here are all from 1987. Some are very direct, like the reversed image of a young black boy eating watermelon, with the caption/title They gave her only what she required. The image and the title narrate the truth of race and oppression on the Louisiana rice farm owned by the artist’s great-grandparents;

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